Trellised Peppers and Eggplants
In the garden, Travis has Merlot Purple Bell Pepper, Beaver Dam Hot Peppers, and Nubia Eggplant growing on a Florida Weave trellis. The Merlot Purple pepper is a highly productive hybrid variety that contains a deep purple exterior with plants growing around 2 to 3 inches tall. Next, the Beaver Dam Hot Pepper is an heirloom variety that has a mild flavor profile and great for stuffing. While the Nubia Eggplant is another productive hybrid variety that has a purple and white streak appearance. When planting peppers and eggplants they do best when transplanted in our seed starting trays. Transplanting allows for you to get a headstart on the growing season and have plants ready to go in the ground when weather conditions are right. If weather conditions are not right they should be stepped up into 4-inch pots to allow for more growth. The Florida Weave trellis is a simple technique that ensures enough support for crops that need to grow upright or vertically in the vegetable garden. For this trellis system, all you will need is t-post, wooden stakes, and gro-tie garden twine. When having trellised peppers and eggplants we are able to reduce soil-borne diseases and maintain healthier crops. Plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all in the nightshade family and susceptible to blossom end rot. To avoid the blossom end rot problems we suggest using pelleted gypsum at the base of the plant.
Reducing Weeds in the Garden
On this week’s episode, Travis talks reducing weeds from trellised peppers in the vegetable garden. However, the problem with growing crops on the Florida Weave trellis is it can sometimes be difficult to control the weeds in the garden area. Due to this trellis technique having string along the row to support the plants we aren’t able to get under the area with a hoe to clear the weeds out. This year, Travis decided to try a new technique using wheat straw underneath the trellis to help control the weeds and preserve moisture from the drip irrigation. Using the wheat straw instead of woodchips because it will be easier to remove from the area once the peppers are done. Once the peppers are done in the garden, Travis plans to plant either some cool weather crops or cover crops. So it’s important to quickly remove the wheat straw out of the garden with either a dura rake or blower. When trying to reduce weeds for trellised peppers, eggplants, or tomatoes in the garden try using some wheat straw that is easier to quickly remove than mulch or woodchips.
Importance of Removing Weeds
When trying to grow the most productive and healthiest vegetables it can become an important task to keep the weed pressures from the garden area. When weeds are in the vegetable garden they steal soil nutrients and water from the plants. If plants do not get all the necessary nutrients they will become weak, not produce, and even die. Another important reason to remove weeds is they can be a hiding spot for pests that are actually eating away at your plants in the vegetable garden. The best way to suppress these weed pressures is by growing cover crops in the garden. Some cover crops like Buckwheat, Sunn Hemp, Daikon Radish, and Brown Top Millet all have traits that grow fast in order to outpace weed growth. When planting cover crops we prefer to use our garden seeder to get a precise planting in the vegetable garden. However, with all cover crops, they should be incorporated back into the soil before going to seed to prevent reseeding problems.